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Do Female Legislators Affect State Spending?

- March 28, 2008

M. Marit Rehavi, a PhD candidate in economics at Berkeley (yes, economics) explores this question in Sex and Politics: Do Female Legislators Affect State Spending? She examines over 20,000 bills and finds that the dramatic movement of women into US state legislators over the past 25 years was responsible for a modest shift in the rise of state health spending but not in other areas associated with women, such as education. She also finds that “[W]omen elected in close races have a larger effect on spending priorities than the average female office holder.” Read the complete working draft here.